Are you Napoleon or Don Quixote? Let's figure out what socionics is and does it work?

Probably everyone has come across sociotypical tests: they are often carried out in schools Bukalov A.V., Karpenko O.B. Socionics and psycho-information technologies in the educational process. Tsarskoye Selo readings. , universities Kramarenko R. A. Organization of independent work of students taking into account individual characteristics of the psyche (socionic approach). Siberian Pedagogical Journal. and during employment Gurov S. A., Alekseenko M. A. Socionic approach in business. Business and design review. .

Socionics is a popular branch of knowledge. According to the eLIBRARY catalog of articles, there are currently Publications on request “Socionics”. eLIBRARY. about 5,000 scientific publications, one way or another related to this area. However, how scientific is it? Lifehacker decided to look into this issue.

Socionics: a brief history and overview of the basics

Socionics is a special concept of personality types and the relationships between them. It appeared in the 70s of the 20th century, and its creator was the Lithuanian sociologist Ausra Augustinavichiute. The main ideas of this concept were outlined in her work “On the Dual Nature of Man” in 1980.

The basis for the creation of socionics was the typology of psychotypes of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, as well as the theory of information metabolism of the Polish psychiatrist Anton Kempinski. From the latter, Augustinaviciute took the idea that the human psyche “feeds” on information signals, thereby activating information metabolism.

But Jung’s typology, which describes eight psychological types, is of greatest importance for socionics:

  • Thinking (introverted and extroverted)
  • Feeling (introverted and extroverted)
  • Sensation (introverted and extroverted)
  • Intuition (introverted and extroverted)

Jung also identified one more characteristic - a psychological attitude - introverted (directed “inward”) or extroverted (directed to perceive the outside world). It is with this in mind that each of the four main psychotypes is divided into two (introverted and extroverted).

In addition, thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition are also the main mental functions, to each of which two additional ones can be added - sensation and intuition. With their help, you can more accurately describe the human psyche (you can read more about the ideas of the Swiss psychiatrist in our article “The Ideas of Carl Gustav Jung”).

Initially, Jung's typology was not intended to classify people, but after some time, based on his ideas, tests were born that made it possible to classify people by type (for example, the Myers-Briggs questionnaire, the Gray-Wheelwright test and others), and, naturally, socionics.

Augustinaviciute gave the mental functions of Jung’s theory (in his theory these were quantitative characteristics of mental processes) the form of “variants of information metabolism.” She also suggested that in the process of perceiving the surrounding reality, the human psyche uses eight discrete (interrupted) socionic functions:

  • Logic (corresponds to Thinking in Jung's typology). It is divided into introverted or structural (denoted) and extroverted or business (denoted).
  • Ethics (corresponds to Feeling in Jung's typology). It is divided into introverted or relational ethics (denoted) and extroverted or emotional ethics (denoted).
  • Sensory (corresponds to Sensation in Jung's typology). It is divided into introverted or sensory sensations (denoted) and extroverted or volitional (denoted).
  • Intuition (corresponds to Intuition in Jung's typology). It is divided into introverted or intuition of time (denoted) and extroverted or intuition of possibilities (denoted).

Each socionic function perceives one specific “aspect” of information that comes from the outside world. Based on this, the extent to which a certain socionic function is developed affects a person’s ability to understand the relevant aspects of the surrounding reality. And here we need to return to information metabolism.

From the position of socionics, the flow of information that the psyche perceives and processes, in the process of information metabolism, is divided into eight aspects corresponding to each of the functions and processed by it. Socionics is based on the fact that each personality type perceives and processes information aspects in its own way, based on the difference in the development of a particular function. Socionic functions are mental elements that help a person interact with information aspects.

Thus, socionics studies the laws by which the psyche of each of us perceives and processes information relating to the entire diversity of the surrounding world. Using this model, we can make predictions about the actions of other people, establish their qualities and potential, and understand what can be expected from them.

The basis of socionics is modeling and systems approaches. However, due to insufficient empirical validity (according to some experts), it has not yet been recognized as science. Not belonging to either the field of sociology or the field of psychology research, socionics has been and remains an independent field.

In addition, all the criteria for determining the socionic type (sociotype) of a person were established mostly speculatively. Therefore, determining and verifying the results of psychological typing present some difficulties from a scientific perspective. It is for these reasons that socionics is considered as a direction or teaching, and not as a science (we will talk about criticism later).

Despite this, many famous psychologists fully share the ideas of socionics. Among them are A. V. Bukalov, V. M. Shlain, G. A. Shulman, V. V. Megedya, O. B. Karpenko, V. V. Gulenko, V. D. Ermak, S. A. Tartukhin, Yu. V. Lemeshev, Ya. A. Dubrov and others. The International Institute of Socionics was founded, the employees and leaders of which are doctors of philosophy, medical and biological, technical, physical, mathematical and other sciences. (There are no foreign specialists on this list for the reason that in the West the very concept of “socionics” is used to designate an interdisciplinary field of research in the field of distributed AI (artificial intelligence) systems and their applications to sociology.)

Socionics technologies have been used for several decades in personnel management of many large companies, training and formation of aviation and space crews, conducting business trainings and seminars, publishing activities, developing new methods of marketing and advertising, etc.

As for ordinary people and their lives, socionics (personality types, the model itself, etc.) contributes to the understanding and improvement of human relationships and joint activities. And its main value lies, of course, in knowledge about people’s sociotypes. But before continuing the conversation, we recommend watching this short video about what socionics can give a person, from the founder and head of the School of Applied Socionics, Elena Andreevna Udalova.

Why socionics is a pseudoscience

In modern science, any concept of personality types causes Person-factors in the California Adult Q-Set: closing the door on personality trait types? European Journal of Personality. doubts, since they oversimplify the understanding of human character and are not applicable in everyday life - despite the claims of their supporters. In particular, this is due to Shmelev A.G. No longer socionics, but not yet differential psychology. Psychology. Psychophysiology. with the development of differential psychology, which studies individual differences in people.

Scientists insist that a person can correspond to several types at once and not have all the characteristics of one of them, which happens much more often than a complete coincidence. Also, the human psyche is changing Donnellan MB, Lucas RE Age differences in the Big Five across the life span: evidence from two national samples. Psychology and aging. over time, and socionics insists that personality types are unchanged.

There is simply no statistical data confirming the effectiveness of socionics. Kruchinin S.V. The status of socionics in modern science. Research publications. , and the results of socionic research are not reproduced when repeated.

It is also alarming that socionics is almost not studied. Bukalov A.V., Karpenko O.B. Socionics as an academic scientific discipline. Socionics, mentology and personality psychology. outside the former Soviet Union. Philosopher Artemy Magun connects Magun A. L'éducation supérieure dans la Russie post‑soviétique et la crise mondiale des universities. Multitudes. this is with the general crisis of post-Soviet science due to a lack of mutual criticism and isolation from the experience of foreign scientists.

The very concept of Anton Kepiński's concept of information metabolism, which underlies socionics, is considered by Ceklarz J. Revision of Antoni Kępiński's concept of information metabolism. Revizja koncepcji metabolizmu informacyjnego Antoniego Kępińskiego. Psychiatria Poland. controversial, since some of its elements cannot be verified experimentally. Among them is the thesis that any creature is driven by two main principles: the preservation of life and the preservation of the species.

In addition, the formulations in the descriptions of socionic types are too general and can apply to anyone. Here, for example, is a phrase from the description of the “Don Quixote” type from the site of Prokofiev T., Kuzmina M. Descriptions of socionic types. Research Institute of Socionics. "Research Institute of Socionics":

Don’t feed them bread, let them read about something mysterious and enigmatic. ILEs strive to immediately apply the acquired knowledge in practice, but at the same time they are rarely interested in receiving real benefits from their discoveries.

If you think about it, almost every person is interested in the mysterious and enigmatic. And many of us tend to try to immediately apply the acquired knowledge. Psychics and astrologers like to use such general statements, and this phenomenon itself is called the Barnum effect.

All this, according to Sergeev A.G. Synecdoche of response, or homeopathic protection. Commission to combat pseudoscience and falsification of scientific research. In defense of science. M. 2021. mathematician Armen Glebovich Sergeev, a member of a special commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences, relates socionics to outright pseudosciences such as astrology and homeopathy.

Followers of the Myers-Briggs theory, in contrast to supporters of socionics, devote attention to A. G. Shmelev. No longer Socionics, but not yet differential psychology. Psychology. Psychophysiology. much more attention to evidence for the existence of the types represented in the concept. But this does not save their theory from criticism.

Thus, independent researchers call works proving the effectiveness of MBTI unreliable Gardner WL, Martinko MJ Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to Study Managers: A Literature Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Management. , and the results of the test itself are non-reproducible Grant A. Goodbye to MBTI, the Fad That Won't Die. Psychology Today. even among the same people. Also, scientists did not find Pittenger DJ Measuring the MBTI... And Coming Up Short. Journal of Career Planning and Employment. a significant predominance of some functions of the human psyche over others (for example, thinking over feeling).

Jung himself, although he did not abandon his concept of personality types, was disappointed by Jung K. G. Psychological types. St. Petersburg 2001. its popularity, and called the practices based on it “parlor children's play” and “labeling.” Jung considered his theory a tool with which a psychologist begins work, and does not use it to make an accurate diagnosis.

Much greater trust A robust data-driven approach identifies four personality types across four large data sets. Nature Human Behavior. Scientists are inspired by the five-factor The Oxford Handbook of the Five Factor Model. Oxford University Press. 2021. model of human personality (“Big Five”), which Western researchers have been developing since the 60s of the 20th century. This concept does not distinguish character types, but evaluates personality according to five criteria:

  • extraversion;
  • benevolence (the ability to make friends and find consensus);
  • conscientiousness (consciousness, hard work, decency);
  • emotional stability (neuroticism);
  • intelligence (openness to new things, creative abilities).

At first glance, socionics is a rather harmonious, clear and logical system. And the appeal to Jung’s authority in psychology and the almost mathematical model of determining personality create a sense of its scientific nature. But in fact, socionics oversimplifies the concept of personality and is not able to explain the “loss” of the characters of many people from its typology. It may be entertainment, but it is not science.

At the same time, socionics does exactly what Jung did not expect from his classification, and even goes further. She not only labels people, but also suggests building relationships based on vague descriptions, similar to astrological ones. In addition, socionics sells well: it includes books, paid trainings, and even work teams. But the benefit from them will most likely be near-zero.

Therefore, you should not limit yourself to the framework of socionic typology and extend similar stereotypes to other people.

Socionics: personality types and their influence on character

As we said, Jung’s typology was taken as the basis for socionic typology. But if in his theory these were psychotypes, and there were eight of them, then in socionics they are called sociotypes, and there are sixteen of them (they are also called TIMs from “type of information metabolism”). It is very interesting that the names of these types differ in their figurative and artistic nature (we will also give scientific names), and they are based on the names of famous personalities (real or fictional), to one degree or another corresponding to each of the types.

Let's briefly look at these types:

  1. “Maxim Gorky” (logical-sensory introvert). He is pedantic, excessively clean, and quickly inspires confidence. He is distinguished by a sober view of things, adequately assesses his strengths, and thinks rationally.
  2. "Stirlitz" (logical-sensory extrovert). Very hardworking, social, rational. Life is always in full swing around him. An excellent motivator, he openly shows his feelings, loves noisy companies. He is distinguished by his cordiality and kindness.
  3. "Robespierre" (logical-intuitive introvert). Original as a person, independent, organized. Able to think deeply and calmly, stays away from noisy companies. He is inclined to have intimate conversations, thinks clearly and logically, and has developed intuition.
  4. "Jack London" (logical-intuitive extrovert). Quickly adapts to new circumstances, perfectly determines his own and others' potential. Likes to take risks, prefers active pastime and extreme sensations.
  5. “Dreiser” (ethical-sensory introvert). Analyzes his own and other people's actions, tends to understand himself. Able to persistently, but in a gentle manner, defend his views. He is of the opinion that all people are equal.
  6. "Hugo" (ethical-sensory extrovert). Easily manipulates people, always active. Differs in communication skills and efficiency. Altruistic nature, capable of sacrificing its interests.
  7. “Dostoevsky” (ethical-intuitive introvert). Prefers to trust people and feels them easily. Has the ability and desire to learn. He is distinguished by excellent pedagogical qualities.
  8. "Hamlet" (ethical-intuitive extrovert). Overly emotional, very expressive. Characterized by active gestures. He easily senses when he is being lied to. Has excellent intuition.
  9. "Gaben" (sensory-logical introvert). Explores the world through his feelings. Loves to work with his hands. He is distinguished by a technical and rational mindset, the thinking of an engineer.
  10. “Zhukov” (sensory-logical extrovert). He gets his way at any cost. Likes to lead and analyze. He prefers to always win and find benefits for himself in everything. Excellent plans.
  11. “Dumas” (sensory-ethical introvert). Clear and easy to communicate, non-conflicting. He has a good sense of humor and likes to spend time actively. Characterized by a need to be needed, loves to provide support and help.
  12. “Caesar” (sensory-ethical extrovert). Strives for leadership and prefers to surround himself with weaker people. Likes to appear unusual and interesting, as well as melancholic. Maintains a distance in communication, never reveals all his thoughts.
  13. “Balzac” (intuitive-logical introvert). He is inclined to philosophical thoughts and reasoning, loves to read. He prefers to analyze everything and double-check it several times. He is neat, careful, appreciates others, strives to live in comfort.
  14. “Don Quixote” (intuitive-logical extrovert). Differs in breadth of interests and views. Quickly adapts to new things. He does not like routine, knows how to convey complex things in simple language, and constantly generates ideas.
  15. “Yesenin” (intuitive-ethical introvert). A dreamer, he loves to write poetry. He has a great understanding of people. Likes to spend money. Enjoys great success with the opposite sex. Uses his advantages to achieve goals.
  16. "Huxley" (intuitive-ethical extrovert). He has many talents and a rich imagination. A person with a subtle soul who loves creativity. Does not like boredom and routine. Quickly finds a common language with others.

We’ll talk about how to determine your sociotype a little later, but for now let’s note that, of course, it doesn’t fully determine your character. Each person is unique in nature, and even with the help of sixteen personality types it is impossible to give a comprehensive description of character and other personality parameters.

And in its pure form, any socionic type is never present in a person - there is only one predominant one, and all others exist in the individual to a lesser extent. Moreover, seemingly incompatible things can be combined in one person. For example, an intuitive-logical introvert who takes care of his family, trusts people and likes to think, may strive to achieve his goal by any means and benefit from everything, which is typical for a sensory-logical extrovert.

The socionics model allows us to establish a way of perceiving information that reflects a person’s reactions (and their stability) to certain circumstances, events, etc. This, in turn, allows you to get to know yourself (and others) better, understand what you need in life, how to communicate with people more correctly, what ways to achieve goals, etc. The socionic type can be determined using special methods.

What is socionics?

Socionics is the study of how a person perceives information about the world around him and interacts informationally with other people.

It was formulated back in the early 1970s by the Lithuanian sociologist and economist Ausra Augustinaviciute and described in his work “On the Dual Nature of Man” in 1980. The author tried to develop Carl Gustav Jung’s idea of ​​mental types and combine it with the concept of information metabolism by Anton Kempelsky. Hence, many say that socionics was created at the intersection of psychology, sociology and computer science.

The subject of study in socionics is the process of exchanging information from the human psyche with the outside world, and its method is modeling the information system of the psyche. The role and status of socionics are completely ambiguous. Some people regard socionics as a separate science, while others consider it simply a part of psychology. For some it is a truism, for others it is pseudoscience. All this only says that socionics is only at the beginning of its formation.

It shows that each of us belongs to one of 16 psychological (socionic) types. I will talk about them in more detail later in the article. These types are named after the most famous literary and historical characters, which contributed to its popularization in its time. By the way, it is very similar to my favorite astrology. In my life, I use a combination of psychological socionics and esoteric astrology, which gives me a broader understanding of myself and the people around me.

Next, I will describe 3 main reasons why you should start studying socionics.

Helps you understand yourself better

Each of us, for a more harmonious life with ourselves and the world around us, must understand our potential, our weaknesses and strengths, all kinds of behavior options, and so on. A person who does not know himself has a very difficult time going through life. Moreover, he blames everyone and everything on the outside instead of looking inside, analyzing and realizing many things. And socionics, in some ways, helps to do this.

I am an introvert and I often need to be alone with myself in order to immerse myself in my inner world. To do this, firstly, I need my own personal space. And secondly, the time I can spend alone. This is how I recharge with energy, analyze some actions and events, and also develop new ideas. And for me all this is clear as a “clear day”, but friends and acquaintances regard my “withdrawals into myself” differently. Why do not you write?! Where did you disappear to?! Nowhere, I just want to be alone. Sometimes I feel even more comfortable this way than with anyone else. That's just my nature. Accept me for who I am...

Helps you find a life partner

Some fans of socionics are looking for life partners thanks to this direction. Now communities on social networks and socionic dating clubs are becoming widely popular, where people can find their soulmate. It is believed that those who are “duals” have the best chances, i.e. representatives of types that optimally complement each other. I am definitely for the use of socionics, but I am against fanaticism in any of its manifestations.

It is necessary to understand that in addition to socionic indicators in life there are many others, thanks to which people converge and build harmonious relationships. I can say unequivocally that living together will be very difficult for the rational and the irrational! This confirms both my experience and the experience of my friends. Knowing our similarities and differences, we can simply be more flexible in building relationships as a couple. The main thing is that this knowledge only helps, and does not say that if you are not a “dual”, then a relationship with you will definitely not work out.

Helps build team relationships

Socionics has proven itself well in business, team building and motivation. For the team to work successfully, it is necessary to distribute functional roles and job responsibilities in accordance with the real abilities and preferences of each member. Therefore, an approximate list of activities has been developed for each socionic type. Yes, it is conditional, but it still reflects general preferences and the range of possible tasks without any imposition.

As for me, my main incentive is interest in work. Research and analytical are the preferred areas of activity. I like it when I can apply systems analysis, build a classification, or develop a new concept. I love programming, writing and teaching. That is why I am writing this blog about self-development and developing the project for the harmonious development of personality “7 spheres of life”. All my qualities work well here: introversion, intuition, logic and rationalism.

If we look at these 3 reasons why it is worth studying socionics, we see that it helps to work out 3 vectors of the sphere of Relationships: Self, Family and Environment. And this is one of the most difficult areas of life, which you need to constantly work on. Therefore, you should make socionics your friend!

Socionics: methods for determining sociotype

Traditionally, to determine a person’s sociotype (typing), the following are used:

  • Socionic tests and questionnaires . The Myers-Briggs questionnaire is very popular (you can take it here), although experienced specialists (socionists) point out that the Myers-Briggs typology does not fully correspond to the socionic typology, so these questionnaires are adapted. There are also Weisband and Meged-Ovcharov tests, Talanov questionnaires, Gulenko test, Lytov multifactor test, Keirsey socionic test.
  • Socionic interviews . This is a conversation between a socionicist and a person being typed on an arbitrary or planned topic (often accompanied by testing or questioning). When conducting a diagnosis, the specialist evaluates how clearly the signs of IMT and some other specific parameters are expressed. After this, the socionician compares the received data and makes a conclusion about TIM.
  • Experiments . To implement this method, as a rule, socionics create special conditions for those being typed and set specific tasks for them. In the process of completing tasks, specialists monitor people’s actions, reactions, decisions, and then draw conclusions about TIM.
  • Observations . A specialist observes a person (or a group of people), evaluates his appearance, behavior, actions, and non-verbal manifestations. But in order to draw reliable conclusions, a socionicist must have the skill of figurative-sensual recognition of TIM based on impressions.
  • Research dossier . Socionics studies a person’s personal file, eyewitness accounts, personal texts and/or diary entries, photo and video materials, and creative results.

It is believed that experienced people and professional specialists can determine a person’s sociotype by his reactions, appearance, manner of communication and even style of clothing, without resorting to lengthy research. In addition, some are able to adequately determine their own sociotype. But in order to achieve such a level in socionics, it is necessary, firstly, to understand in detail the system of this direction and its sociotypes, secondly, to study the psychotypes proposed by Jung’s theory, and thirdly (if it comes to self-typing), to learn objectively perceive and evaluate yourself, your character traits, reactions and other features of your personality. We should not forget about the main problem of socionics - that from a scientific position it lacks objective criteria for determining the socionic type. In other words, any analysis of a person using socionics will not have reliable scientific justification.

However, if you learn to identify sociotypes, you will be able, with a certain degree of probability, to establish what the behavioral differences between people are and look for the right approach to them, determine the habits, interests and abilities of those around you, and understand what dictates their actions and actions. Possessing socionic knowledge, a person is also able to determine his compatibility with people, predict the development of relationships, highlight which qualities in other people should be perceived as basic, and which it makes sense not to pay special attention to. In short, socionics, despite the lack of scientific status, can be very useful, both for one person and for society as a whole.

Conclusion: is socionics scientific?

The answer is obvious: no, it is unscientific. Perhaps someday in the future socionics will be recognized by the scientific community as a separate discipline, but for now it is only an empirical model based on the subjective perception of the author, interesting as intellectual entertainment, but without any statistically confirmed basis. The only test of this typology that is close to a scientific instrument has insufficient validity and reliability. Works on socionics published by scientific (non-socionics) publications are practically absent, and the scientific community does not even try to prove its inconsistency - after all, the evidentiary work in this case falls on the shoulders of the supporters of the theory.

Despite this, socionics is a popular hobby for many and will remain so in the future. In this capacity, it can exist indefinitely along with other typologies not recognized by science, for example, horoscopes. Why? It provides an interesting reason for communication, the illusion of control over one’s own life and relationships, and it simply brings pleasure, like a game or a puzzle. Well, such entertainment has a right to exist, but, apparently, it does not represent any value for people in general, since it does not carry tools for solving problems or other benefits.

Socionics: benefits for individuals and society

The socionics model today is penetrating into an increasing number of areas. Those who accepted it more than others include:

  • Recruitment, training and development of personnel
  • Improving the efficiency of organizational management
  • Creation of innovative educational technologies
  • Diagnosis and treatment of psychosomatic diseases
  • Vocational guidance for teenagers and adults
  • Raising children in families and specialized institutions
  • Organization of dating
  • Self-knowledge and self-development

The most popular area of ​​application of socionics is building comfortable relationships in any social group. With the help of socionics, we can understand that complications in communicating with another person (an acquaintance, colleague, relative, etc.) may not at all be a consequence of his malicious intent or internal “unsuitability” for us. It’s just that different people perceive the world and life individually, have their own opinions, and have different values. And just understanding how our and other people’s psyches work can lead to getting rid of many problems in relationships and relieving tension. And this is important in absolutely any area of ​​​​life.

In addition to this, studying socionics allows you to grow personally, expand boundaries, get out of your comfort zone, learn to be yourself and understand yourself without squeezing your personality into the framework of how it “should” be. Despite the unreliability of methods, biased results, and the lack of scientific status, this direction has an undeniable advantage. It consists in the fact that socionics helps everyone to form correct self-esteem, communicate more effectively with people, achieve their goals faster and easier and find their place in this huge world.

At the same time, from its very inception to this day, socionics has been subject to serious criticism. Let's consider it to get more objective conclusions.

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Criticism of socionics

Many researchers say not only that socionics is not a science and therefore does not deserve much trust, but also that personality typing can generally harm a person.

First of all, we need to remember once again that socionics is based on Jung’s typology and Kempinsky’s theory of information metabolism. If Jung's ideas can be attributed to scientific knowledge, then scientists have ambivalent attitudes towards Kempinski's theory. And in general there is very little information about it, and evidence of its accuracy and validity requires searching and numerous checks. It also makes sense to say that the founder of socionics, Aušra Augustinavičiute, was an economist, not a psychologist by profession, which also causes some caution.

Who develops socionic tests today is often unknown, and, again, not all reputable psychologists recognize them. Actually, the accuracy of these tests is far from ideal. You can go through several of them and get different results (different socionic schools can type the same person differently, since none of them has a clear evaluation system, and the characteristics of sociotypes often diverge), which indicates their low reliability and validity. But that’s not all - there are other indicators that indicate that socionics is unlikely to ever become a science.

In the same psychology, there are specific criteria for objectivity in research (objectivity, repeatability, homogeneity of results, etc.), and any experiments that do not meet them and are not confirmed on different samples are automatically considered questionable. And socionics cannot imagine such experiments, because they have not been carried out at all and are unlikely to be carried out, because socionic criteria are subjective and vague. And according to another principle of scientific knowledge, the less subjectivity in a statement, the more it can be considered scientifically reliable.

According to the principle of verification, which was developed by Karl Popper (Austrian and British sociologist and philosopher), scientific knowledge can only be verified through observation and experiment. Although these research methods are used in socionics, they are all subjective and depend on a specialist guided by his own thoughts and experience.

Another principle – the principle of falsification (read the article “Popper’s falsifiability as a scientific criterion”) indicates that only knowledge that can be refuted can be called “scientific”. And when some direction or teaching is structured in such a way as to explain any facts, it can no longer be scientific. In socionics there are a lot of different lengthy formulations such as “sometimes”, “usually”, “inclination”, etc., generalizing information in such a way that any person, if desired, will find something to agree with in such descriptions. She uses mostly everyday language in describing mental phenomena, but it is imprecise and vague. For this reason, scientific statements appear that are impossible to prove or disprove.

Since its inception, socionics has hardly changed and does not produce any new knowledge, but a science that can be trusted is developing and producing new knowledge. Socionics does not require serious in-depth research and many years of education; it easily and simply determines the psychotype and everything connected with it, right down to a “favorable” partner for family life. Reliable psychological knowledge requires the most serious study, is difficult to master and never evaluates a person unambiguously. Socionics allows everyone to become their own psychologist, to find easy answers to the most complex questions.

As for the detrimental influence on a person, socionics can “justify” negative character traits, such as anxiety, hysteria or rudeness, as a result of which a person stops working on himself (“I am who I am”). In other words, the same thing that can be used for your benefit can also have negative consequences. Everything depends on interpretations, aspirations, discipline - in a word, the person himself. Such self-diagnosis also has little to do with science.

Socionics was obtained using an unscientific method, which means that it is a priori incapable of becoming a science and claiming reliability and objectivity, especially taking unconfirmed concepts and unprovable statements as a basis.

These are just some of the cons regarding socionics, and if you search, you can find entire scientific works criticizing it. How to treat this teaching - as a useful tool for learning about yourself and others, or as a fun idea and food for thought in your spare time - is up to you. Of course, you can take something useful from it for yourself, but you should always remember that you should not blindly believe it - there is no scientific basis for this.

And to maintain balance (after all, we already had a video about the application and benefits of socionics), we invite you to watch a video on the topic of criticism of this direction from Alexander Neveev, candidate of psychological sciences.

Criticism from the scientific community and independent researchers

Sergey Vladimirovich Kruchinin, candidate of political sciences, in his research article critically substantiates the inconsistency of using socionics for marketing research:

“In [the book by E.S. Kiseleva “The role and importance of the consumer in the marketing system and ways to manage his behavior based on socionics”] the authors make... bold statements... that a marketer must know the socionic type of market segments. This is an extremely ambitious statement, which is methodologically correct to present as reality only after confirmation by relevant statistics and a double-blind study that has proven itself in medical research. The lack of involvement of socionics in this case is due to one of its provisions about the innateness of the socionic type and its irreplaceability. Linking the types of preferences with socionics requires proof that these preferences will not change, since the types do not change, according to socionics. (...) But there is no evidence provided that human behavior... will not change. On the contrary, a person with age and life experience can change his preferences in choosing a product and change his behavior strategy.” He also expresses deep skepticism regarding the use of socionic types established using the MBTI test for personnel selection, and doubts about the realism of the results of some studies related to socionics that could give it a scientific appearance, for example, those given in the article by A. G. Shmelev “ No longer socionics, but not yet differential psychology”:

“...Perhaps, for the first time, attempts have been made to correlate socionics with the analysis of patients with affective pathologies. The attempt is interesting, but the result of 100% ethical rationality among people with affective disorders allows one to either doubt the representativeness of the statistical sample, or doubt the legitimacy of cause and effect.”

He makes the following conclusions: socionics, of course, is a well-promoted brand, is of interest to researchers as a mathematical puzzle, but has no serious scientific value [1].

An article on socionics published in the “Society of Skeptics” also questions the scientific nature of the methodology of socionics, compares it with astrology, and all similarities in behavior by type are explained by the Barnum Effect. This effect is that people highly rate the accuracy of personality descriptions that they believe are tailor-made for them. Not only popular, but also so-called “advanced” literature on socionics is critically analyzed - the problems in all these sources are similar and are also related to methodology.

“Business is about people, Miss Steele, and I'm very good at understanding them. I know what interests them, what makes them happy, what inspires them and how to stimulate them,” says the hero of one of the most famous books of our time and part-time millionaire (or billionaire?) Christian Gray to young Anastasia Steele. Remember this moment? She, so inexperienced and timid, sits in his office - and he, piercing her with his gaze, betrays one of the few sensible thoughts of the entire work. If I give one more quote from the sensational “Shades,” everyone will decide that the article is about sex and other perversions. But no. It is about how to learn to understand people, and about the science that teaches this - socionics.

Why is socionics needed?

One boss of a large electronics store believed in socionics so much that he sent several personnel specialists to study at a large socionics center. The specialists learned, returned, and the first thing they did was shuffle the sellers inside the store entrusted to them. In particular, instead of a businesslike guy who carefully checked and double-checked the goods before accepting them back, they put a quiet and gentle girl in charge of returning goods. The only remarkable things about the girl were her gentle voice and exceptional ability to listen carefully to her interlocutor. She didn’t even really understand technology. A month later, the incredible happened: the return rate dropped by 30%. We will modestly keep silent about how much the fees of the newly minted socionics have increased.

It is not necessary to study at a socionics or any other center in order to be able to place each employee in the place where he will bring maximum benefit. You can have extensive experience in the art of personnel selection or simply have, as they say, a natural flair, a “smell” for people. But if you have neither one nor the other, but still want to figure it out, I have good news for you. This can be learned. Well, like, say, mathematics.

Mathematics + psychology = new science?

Few people know, but the founder of the science of society was neither a psychologist nor a sociologist. She was an economist - and suggested the existence of 16 sociotypes, based on Jung's theory and simple mathematical calculations. Her name was Aushra Augustinavichiute. Just imagine: some socionicists—mostly teachers—have to repeat this name from year to year. They, however, do not complain and repeat with constant trepidation - there are not many women in the world who managed to single-handedly found an entire science.

However, officially such a science as socionics still does not exist. But there is a term “pseudoscience” that has stuck to it almost since its founding in the late 1970s. This is because there are more and more people who write on the Internet something like “If you are a gloomy type with a craving for absolute order and a disruptive character, rest assured, you are Maxim Gorky.” There is less and less trust in them and in socionics in general.

Magic transformation

Socionics, meanwhile, is a direct descendant of Jung’s theory of eight psychotypes. Aushra (you don't expect me to write her last name again, do you?) took as a basis the four aspects he identified - thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition - and suggested that each has two varieties - extroverted and introverted. This is how eight socionic aspects appeared. What Jung called thinking (the aspect associated with ideas about cause-and-effect relationships and objective criteria) became logic in socionics. Jung's feeling, responsible for value judgments, expanded to interpersonal relationships and the ability to understand another and turned into ethics. The sensation responsible for the perception of the surrounding world by the senses is called sensory. And only intuition - the same perception, only in an unconscious way - has retained its name.

Aushra model

It is important to remember: every person has all eight aspects . We cannot live without perceiving the material world through our senses or completely ignoring our own and others’ emotional states. But you must agree: we do not devote the same amount of effort and attention to each aspect. In difficult moments, everyone relies on one thing: logical considerations, intuition, or simply, as they say, listens to their heart. Aushra noticed this - and arranged eight aspects depending on the role it plays for each of the 16 types, in a special table. The table is called “Model A” (Aushry in the sense), and each type is given a detailed description of its functions.

One among one's own

The fact that there are exactly 16 sociotypes (and 16 is 4 squared) fits socionics into all other typologies with amazing accuracy. For example, in differential psychology there are four main types (cycloids, schizoids, hysterics, epileptoids), the signs of the zodiac are tied to four elements (earth, fire, water, air), we perceive the world around us in four different ways and, depending on them, are divided into kinesthetics , visuals, audios and discretes. If I link the four main types of socionics - sensorics, intuitives, logicians and ethics - to each of the named groups (and I can), representatives of the typologies will find me and throw slippers at me. So I'd better tell you about each aspect. And you try to trace the patterns - sometimes they do not just lie on the surface, but are simply striking.

By the way, from this phrase an experienced socionicist will immediately understand that sensory is my strong point. Perhaps we’ll start with that.

“Survive at any cost” - power sensing

Sensorics are people who have a good understanding of the material and sensual (not to be confused with the sensitive) sphere of life. These are “touch” people. They can estimate the space “by eye”, estimate the dimensions and power of anything - an object, a person, a machine, an explosion - and not make a mistake. One of my acquaintances somehow encroached on something almost sacred - he decided to identify a socionic pattern among the heroes of the Second World War. Carry out a kind of calculation of which of the 16 types is more inclined to feat. I’ll say right away: typing people who are no longer alive, unless they left behind a book the size of War and Peace, memoirs of contemporaries and preferably a full-length photo, is a dubious idea . And yet I will tell you about this study - its results shocked me. The study did not reveal the degree of heroism in one type or another. But another interesting pattern emerged. The heroes awarded posthumously were anything but sensorics. And vice versa - of those who accomplished the feat and survived, there were more sensory people, especially extroverted ones. The reasons were different: he slipped in time, slipped through, dodged a bullet - and remained alive.

Extraverted sensory (aka power, aka black) is responsible for power, strength, and the ability to control one’s own (and, if necessary, someone else’s) body. It allows you to well estimate the distance and power of an opponent or danger. However, the sensory system of sensations will also cope perfectly with “estimating” and not making a mistake.

Weigh everything (and also touch and try) - sensory sensations

I’ll give you a less bloodthirsty example, and at the same time a sensory test that anyone can do at home. Think about it: how often do you cook according to a recipe? And by prescription or rather by inspiration? Do you measure with glasses, pinches, “by eye,” or, on the contrary, do you use electronic scales for greater accuracy? The more freely you handle any measures (unless this is the result of 20 years of experience as a cook), the more likely it is that your sensory skills are not the weakest. And vice versa - if you want to carefully weigh everything, check and double-check... then the good news is this: these days, you no longer have to dodge bullets.

Introverted sensory (aka white, also known as sensory of sensations) is responsible for the perception of the material world in all its diversity - through smell, color, taste. Sensors know how to handle the body - both their own and someone else's - no worse than their “black” counterparts. But, unlike them, they take it not forcefully, but with gentleness.

“Accidentally manage to do everything” - intuition of time

The main antagonists of sensory people - and people who are maximally cut off from the material world - are intuitives. One of my friends - a basic white intuitive - can sometimes forget to have breakfast. Or fall asleep at work for 15 minutes. Then wake up and continue working as if nothing had happened. Moreover, she knows for sure that 15 minutes have passed, although she does not wear a watch. The better a function works, the less we need external reference points. Do you often look at your watch? Do you wear it on your hand? I always. At home, my clock hangs in the most visible place, and the alarm clock on the bedside table is ticking literally right under my nose. This is because I have a poor sense of time - although I am almost never late. But without looking at the clock, I’m unlikely to tell you what time it is.

Another test for your intuition of time: try to watch how different people (including you) are preparing to get out of the car in the subway. Someone closes the book and stands closer to the door as soon as the next station is announced. Such people usually have the main nightmare in life - not being able to do something in time. And there are those who calmly get up from their seats exactly a few seconds before the train stops. And he comes out just as calmly. Basic white intuitives often tell how in their student years they woke up a class or even an exam exactly on the day when it was about - those who usually came an hour before the exam, so that, God forbid, they would not be late, ask painfully in this place. "Somehow like this. It just happened.”

By the way, an interesting socionic observation: many people who call themselves psychics are white intuitives. Their basic function - introverted intuition, aka white, aka intuition of time - allows them to feel how the situation will develop over time.

“This cannot happen because it can never happen” - business logic

Usually it happens like this: white intuitives speak from the position of “somehow” and “it just happened,” they guess, everyone around is surprised, then business logic comes in - and let’s find out the causes and consequences. They conduct research, conduct experiments - extroverted logicians always need a material basis for drawing conclusions - they look for patterns. Remember, in any incomprehensible, complex or dangerous situation we rely on our basic function? For logicians of both subtypes, both extroverted and introverted, this situation happens when they step on the sacred - their logical picture of the world, in which everything can be explained by cause-and-effect relationships. And if it’s impossible, then there’s nothing to think about, say business logicians. All these psychics of yours are bullshit.

“Or is it still possible?..” - abstract logic + intuition of possibilities

Sometimes, however, abstract (aka introverted, aka white) logicians are brought in for explanations, which can - purely theoretically - allow everything and always. You just need to bring the necessary explanation to this, justify it and systematize it. It is abstract logicians who make, at first glance, absolutely mind-boggling assumptions - and they turn out to be right. Although they are not very interested in being right or even testing this theory of theirs: if it fits into existing (sometimes only in their head) systems and rules, then it exists. What is there to prove?

Often, in order to create something fundamentally new, abstract logic needs intuition of possibilities to support it, which is responsible for assumptions about the internal structure of the object. There is one sociotype in which both of these aspects are strong - the very first of the sixteen. Statistics show that it is people of this type who most often advance science. They can derive a theoretical pattern that will be proven a good 100 years later. All the geniuses unrecognized by contemporaries that you just thought of, who later turned out to be right in their assumptions, were most likely abstract logicians. It is generally accepted that Aushra herself is one of them. Leading experts in modern socionics Grigory Reinin and Viktor Gulenko are also abstract logicians.

But socionics is mainly done by business logicians: without living material to search for cause-and-effect relationships, extroverts oriented toward the outside world would have a hard time.

“Seeing through people” - ethics of emotions and ethics of relationships

Sensors and intuitives also study socionics, but they don’t paste tables (Model A in the sense) on the walls. What you are unlikely to meet in this field are ethicists. Just in case, I will repeat: the socionic term has nothing to do with ethics as a set of rules of behavior in society. The ethics of relationships in socionics is about the relationships between people and their feelings, and the ethics of emotions is, respectively, about emotions and internal experiences. So, it’s the ethicists who usually say: come on, this socionics of yours, and it’s also clear who wants what and who wants what. At this moment, their main antagonists, logicians, are usually looking for a wall to bang their heads against - they can’t see anything at all, and without special tables, textbooks and systems they don’t understand anything. Since I am a logician and my ethics are weak (this is a general pattern, sensory people are bad with intuition, logicians are bad with ethics, and vice versa), talking about how ethicists see the world is not only difficult for me, but simply energy-consuming. Another point in the typing box - if a person finds it difficult or uninteresting to talk about something, it means that the area to which the topic is attached (relationships, material wealth, personal gain, etc.) is weak. But this is not a sentence either. Even though I’m a logician, I’m a good judge of people—I just had to study for years for this. While an ethicist sees a person (often for the first time in his life) and says: in this situation he will do this, in this situation he will do that. These two will get along. And they will actually get married soon. Oh, they haven't met yet? Well, what little things!

By the way, more than half of love stories are based on the confrontation between ethicists and logicians. Our Mr. Gray is proof of this. Everyone is probably already convinced that the article is not about sex, so I’ll quote the second part of his statement: “ achieve success in any business, you need to master it thoroughly, study it from the inside to the smallest detail. The decisions I make are based on facts and logic. I have a natural gift for recognizing good ideas and good employees. The result always depends on the people.” Well, have you guessed who is in front of us? Logician or ethicist? And who is his favorite submissive - Anastasia Steele?

We all complement each other

The less we understand something, the more mysterious it looks to us - and the more attractive it is. This also works in relationships between people. Logicians do not understand ethicists at all, but subconsciously want to be closer to them. Ethicists admire the ability of logicians to put everything into order; for them this is tantamount to the ability to solve any problem. Sensors believe that intuitives are constantly in the clouds, but they often sit quietly next to them: what if they manage to look into these clouds with at least one eye? And intuitives sometimes need sensory skills simply in order to survive: many of them forget to eat or wash their clothes on time. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

By the way, dual pairs are based on this attraction - a kind of ideal socionic halves. But about them another time. In the meantime, instead of concluding, I want to ask: do all the described examples have anything to do with human qualities? Is he late, does he measure by eye or with scales, is he surrounded by stopwatches, or does he live solely by instinct? No. All this only speaks about how a person processes information from the outside world. How quickly he reacts to it. What he considers important and what he doesn’t. That is why the term “sociotype” does not exist - but the term “TIM” does exist - a type of information metabolism. And that is why my friend (a logician, as you probably already guessed), who tried to understand which TIM is more prone to feats than others, failed. The feat cannot be predicted or explained. It comes from the depths of the soul. And regardless of type, every person is capable of it.

From the editor

Guided only by logic, you will not always be able to convince other people. Socionics assures us of this. And this is also one of the key ideas in the book by psychiatrist, professor, business consultant Mark Goulston, “I Hear Right Through You . The author formulated nine main rules for establishing contacts with others and described 12 simple persuasion techniques for getting out of difficult situations. More details in our review: .

The definition of TIM (type of information metabolism) is also very important in the field of raising children. After all, by understanding how a child processes information from the outside world and how quickly he reacts to it, you can build the most effective learning system. Nowadays, many children find it difficult to study at school. Possible reasons for this situation are discussed in her article by teacher and psychologist Marina Talanina : .

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